Tony Blair warns Labour could be wiped out if it replaces Jeremy Corbyn with another unpopular leftie leader


LABOUR could be wiped out as a political party if it replaces Jeremy Corbyn with another unpopular leftie boss, Tony Blair warned today.

The ex-PM, who won three elections for Labour, spoke out after Mr Corbyn said he would quit as leader following the disastrous election result last week where it lost 59 seats.

Tony Blair has warned that Labour could be replaced as a political force

The race for his successor has already started, but Mr Corbyn is expected to stay in post until at least March while a new leader is found.

In a speech this morning he said the party faces electoral obliteration unless it changes course now.

And he warned them that Labour would be “replaced” as a serious political force if it tries to “whitewash” the scale of its defeat.

Mr Blair, whose old seat Sedgefield went blue last week, will say the defeat “marks a moment in history” and demands a full scale examination of why it lost so badly.

“This election was no ordinary defeat for Labour,” he said.

“The choice for Labour is to renew itself as the serious, progressive, non-Conservative competitor for power in British politics; or retreat from such an ambition, in which case over time it will be replaced.

“So, at one level, sure let’s have a period of ‘reflection’; but any attempt to whitewash this defeat, pretend it is something other than it is, or the consequence of something other than the obvious, will cause irreparable damage to our relationship with the electorate.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Yvette Cooper has said she will consider over Christmas whether to run for the leadership herself.

She joins other colleagues including Rebecca Long Bailey and Jess Phillips who are expected to run.

She told Radio 4 today: “People felt let down. We have to show some humility.

“Older voters think we aren’t listening to them.

“We have a very long road to travel to earn back voters.”

Lisa Nandy, who has said she is thinking about standing too, told Sky News this morning she will be banging on doors speaking to voters about what they think Labour should do to win them back.

“There is a balance between humility, listening and learning,” she said.

“The people who came up to me in Wigan and said we were really annoyed about backing a second referendum – they knew what was going on.

“We’d stopped listening to one half of the population.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer also set out his stall today – urging the party not to lurch to the right after their defeat.

He wanted the party to return to being a “broad church” but said there was no hiding from the “devastating result”.

“The case for a bold and radical Labour government is as strong now as it was last Thursday,” he told The Guardian.

“We need to anchor ourselves in that.

“We didnt deal with antisemitism and that became a question of values and a question of competence.”

Last night furious MPs slammed the leftie boss at a showdown meeting, over his poor leadership and economically illiterate policies.

Fuming politicians told him he was the “biggest drag” on their election.

Seething backbenchers queued up to tear into theparty bossfor leading them to theworst election defeat since 1935 at a parliamentary showdown.

Labour MPRachel Reevessaid: I said to Jeremy, you can make all the excuses in the world about Brexit, about the mainstream media, about people not voting.”

She said Labour needs radical change adding: We need a party leader that the country can trust.

Yvette Cooper said today she would think about running
Keir Starmer said Labour shouldn’t stray too far from its values

In a devastating blow to the Labour leader, one MP read out the name of all the once rock-solid Labour seats they lost to the Tories in the North-East.

Confronting his defeatedpartyfor the first time since the election, Mr Corbyn issued a grovelling apology telling them: I am very sorry for the result for which I take responsibility.

But he infuriated his MPs by blaming Labours catastrophic defeat solely onBrexitandthe media.

Jeremy Corbyn will step down as Labour leader in the new year